Thursday, August 6, 2015

The 1-minute Dietary Fibre Lesson

Fibre is good.

Fibre is great.

Fibre is a type of carbohydrate but is classed as a non-nutrient because it is not digested or absorbed by the body.

Fibre is  found in plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, beans, peas, fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, roots, tubers and starchy fruits. It is not found in any foods from animal, naturally.

The fibre in these foods come in two main forms-insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fibre also known as roughage, which moves through the digestive track untouched, while, soluble fibre moves through the blood stream before it is eliminated.

Nevertheless, both forms of fibre aid in promoting good digestive; colon and heart health.
Consuming at least 20 grams of fibre a day has shown to reduce risk of heart disease, colon cancer, aid in weight management and aid in reducing insulin resistance.
Here is an example of how I got 30 g fibre  in one day
When water is added to food the soluble fibre thickens and becomes sticky, gummy and gel-like e.g. linseed, chia seeds, oatmeal. Other examples of foods with soluble fibre: avocado, purple passion fruit,  cooked carrots. ripe mango, prunes, eggplant,  cooked beans and peas (for more foods).

Beware, consuming too much  insoluble fibre, as it can cause you to be constipated or have harden bowel movements. Insoluble fibre absorbs fluid in the large intestine. This only becomes an issue when inadequate amounts of water is consumed throughout the day, thus resulting in stiff and bulky stools that is hard to pass.
Examples of foods with insoluble fibre: Wheat bran (e.g. bran stix, bran flakes), oatbran (e.g. oatbran flakes), oatmeal, edible skin of fruits, brown rice, dark-green leafy vegetables (e.g. dasheen leaves, spinach, bhagi, kale), cooked beans and peas amongst others.

  Also beware of fibre supplements, "Purified dietary fibres may reduce acutely the absorption of some vitamins and minerals (e.g. calcium) by binding them in the small intestinal." FAO

Bottom-line, eat a variety of fibre-rich foods daily to promote good digestion, heart health and ward off colon cancer. However, remember to consume adequate amounts of water to ward off constipation.

Thank you for reading! 
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